Nottingham Forest have categorically ruled Steve Evans out of the running of the manager’s job at the City Ground by leaving Leeds United’s head coach off their shortlist.
Evans was strongly linked with Forest a month ago and was rumoured to have been approached by owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi amid United’s on-going delay in announcing whether Evans will remain at Elland Road this summer.
The Leeds boss is seven weeks away from the end of his contract and United chairman Massimo Cellino has left him in the dark over his prospects of a new deal.
Evans met with Cellino on April 29 and believed after those talks that the Italian would extend his tenure into next season but the Scot cut a beaten figure after Leeds’ final game of the season at Preston North End on Saturday, saying he was no longer confident of holding onto his job.
The former Rotherham United boss has spoken with confidence about finding work elsewhere, however, and Forest are one of several clubs linked to him since expectation of his departure from Elland Road began to mount in March.
But a Forest spokesman said: “With complete respect to Steve, he is not somebody we have approached and he is not somebody we plan to approach.”
Evans – a lifelong Celtic fan – was recently cut to short odds for the job at Parkhead after Celtic announced that Ronny Deila would be leaving at the end of this season and he is currently favourite to take charge of League One side Peterborough United.
The 53-year-old, who attended Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final against Falkirk on Tuesday night, admitted again that he would “reach a point where I’ll have to look at other options”, but he said he would continue to delay on talks elsewhere until Cellino officially confirmed his fate.
“My people are telling me about other interest and if I’m not here then those are clubs I’d want to speak to,” he said. “But I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to do that until the club (Leeds) have had the time they need to make a decision.
“All I can do at the moment is distance myself from everything that’s going on. I was reading in the papers on Monday about four other managers getting the job at Leeds, which really tells me that no-one knows what’s happening. I’m also aware of interest in me from other clubs. The only thing for me to do is to keep doing what I should be doing as head coach of Leeds.”
United’s trip to Preston last weekend was Evans’ 38th game in charge – the longest tenure of any head coach in Cellino’s time as majority shareholder.
“I feel like these six or seven months have been like a trial period for me,” he said.
“In that time I’ve got to know the club, worked out what I need to change and what we need to do to compete for promotion next season.
“If this club are serious about getting promoted, they can’t afford to have someone on another trial basis. It’s got to be someone who can have a go from the off. I think I can.”